#National News

First Gambian Customs Brokers Policy validated

Jul 27, 2020, 1:25 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

The first Customs Brokers Policy in The Gambia, which was developed to standardise and regulate the licencing procedures of brokers and other areas of cooperation, was last Thursday validated at a local hotel.

The validation brought together various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Trade, GCCI, clearing and forwarding agents and GRA. It was coordinated by the Technical Support and Monitoring Unit (TSMU) of the Customs and Excise Department of GRA.

The review of the document was also made possible through the commitment and dedication of the members of the reforms and modernisation committee of Gambia Revenue Authority.

The policy promotes transparency in the Authority dealing with customs brokers by outlining the Authority's responsibilities and obligation as well as the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of customs brokers.

Alhagie K. Mbaye, deputy commissioner of Customs, Technical Support and Monitoring Unit stressed the important role played by the customs brokers in revenue mobilisation derive.

According to Mr. Mbaye, the ongoing customs reform has advanced the role of customs brokers beyond routine cargo clearance, saying their role has now grown to consultants and advisors.

"Their knowledge of customs laws and processes in addition to their work experience in the trade supply chain can be useful for both traders and customs," Mr. Mbaye said.

He said while brokers support traders by providing all necessary documentation and undertaking formalities related to cargo clearance, customs brokers are also expected to maintain government interest by ensuring compliance with customs and other regulatory requirement and the collection of appropriate duties and taxes.

Mr. Mbaye further stated that the policy covers key areas of their relationship with the brokers which are licensing, customs procedures, scope and remits of customs broker service, responsibilities and obligations of customs brokers and responsibilities and obligation of the Authority.

The Authority's Deputy Commissioner and Head of Domestic Taxes Essa Jallow said the policy entails the legal requirements for clearing and forwarding agents to be granted a license.

According to Mr. Jallow, the policy will promote the enhancement of quality service delivery by customs brokers and the rights of importers and exporters. He added that stakeholder engagement is also promoted by the policy in its inclusion of the areas of cooperation between the Authority and the customs Brokers Association.

Mr. Jallow congratulates and commends the Technical Support and Monitoring Unit (TSMU) of the customs and Excise Department for its strategic focus in discharging such a core mandate. By extension, he expressed appreciation to the members of the Reforms and Modernisation committee for leading the review and validation of the policy.

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